Elizabeth Collins

The Effect of Lemna minor Addition on Selenastrum Capricornutum Growth and Nutrient Reduction in Eutrophic Water

Presented by: Elizabeth Collins
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bianca Wentzell, Assistant Professor of Biology


Algal blooms can be the result of eutrophic water, which is water that has high concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Water can become eutrophic from runoff containing fertilizer and waste. Lemna minor (Common Duckweed) a floating vascular plant, is a known phytoremediator that can be used to decrease the concentrations of high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in aquatic environments. In this study, eutrophic water with high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and a persistent Selenastrum capricornutum population will be treated with L. minor. The subsequent effect on the concentration of nitrate and phosphate will be tested, as well as the growth of both species. Initial pilot studies indicated that the addition of L. minor may actually improve the growth of the S. capricornutum, at least within the first two weeks of growth, and that their co-culture may result in persistence of phosphate, in particular, when compared to control groups containing L. minor only. Our study seeks to further investigate this relationship and understand its potential implications for addressing harmful algal blooms (HABs).